A game torn between hilarity and humanity
In Ultimate Shark Simulator... well. What do you think happens in it? You play as a shark swimming through some enormous sea. From the moment you pick your species, it becomes clear that this is a simulator, as although the game is shown in first person perspective, you have to carefully manage your oxygen, health, and food. You have to hunt, kill, gain strength and raise a family... and decide carefully if you want to wake up the local Kraken for a boss battle!
Thrill of the hunt
That's right, boss battles. If that doesn't give you any indication of the game's odd leanings, then the fact that you can upgrade your shark's statistics, from health to swim speed to "critical hit chance" should tell you that the game has some RPG aspirations! It's certainly no turn-based dungeon crawler, but if enjoy the idea of growing bigger and stronger, and having not just one shark but a family of them you can use to wreck the seas to your preference, the game certainly delivers. It also delivers in terms of its boss battles: there are six in all, scattered throughout the sea and waiting for you to both uncover and start them. They're difficult, testing your shark and your skill as a hunter to their limits, and they provide ample rewards, in satisfaction and more.
Glubbing your way through the deep sea
On to the graphics, where we see both good and bad. The foggy undersea graphics that USS dishes up are good-looking enough, certainly. They provide the appearance of the sort of sea you or I might know: one teeming with plant and aquatic life, some obvious and some mysterious. The problem is, then, that there's enough clutter that it causes the game to slow down. There may be other causes as well, but ultimately, a big risk with Ultimate Shark Simulator is that it may simply not run well on your phone or tablet.
Apropos of everything else, though, the game makes good on several happy commitments by the developer, Gluten Free Games. It is not supported by ads or in-game purchases, and it's as family-friendly as a shark simulator can be by default. But, if you choose, you can turn on blood effects to get what some might imagine is an essential part of a shark simulator.
Eat, be merry, but don't drink the water
Ultimate Shark Simulator is ultimately a simple game. To know whether you want to play it, you've got to ask a few simple questions. Do you want to be a shark, king of the sea, chasing prey and toppling predators? Do you want to build up a family of sharks, carrying on your legacy and the strength you've gained as a primal fish-warrior? If all of this sounds a bit dopey to you, then at best, Ultimate Shark Simulator will be a decent way to pass the time for you. But if you think it sounds cool, then the game is potentially a must-have. It's all up to you: shark, or no shark?